What Does Success Look Like?

August 10, 2020

Thank you to my clients – I am grateful for your willingness to share your thoughts openly, have the courage to be vulnerable, and humble enough​ ​to ask questions​, ​helping us break down old patterns so we can create new thoughts and break through with life changing results. 

What does success look like? 

Often, we think of success as overcoming​ ​challenges. We are inspired by stories of the underdog, or of the person (maybe even ourselves) who rose from the greatest of challenges​. ​ What about the other side of success? What about the times when success was born free of trauma, struggle, or difficulty? 

Up until now, I have shared stories of my greatest successes from deep challenges. I have taken great pride in my educational​ ​achievements in part, because​ ​as a child and young adult I believed myself to be “stupid” or not as smart as others. I have shared my stories of triumph in my unfortunate journeys of abusive relationships, divorce, and single motherhood to help others see the light from the darkest places. These types of successes are valuable and help us understand the power of resilience. They inspire us to dream of something better, move forward in life, and may even be recognized as some of our greatest moments of personal growth. The pieces of the puzzle make us who we are today. 

There is another side of success that is free of trauma, struggle, and difficulty. There are more pieces to our puzzle. These successes happen when we have been inspired by creative thoughts, ideas, or intuition. When I was a very young girl, I remember making a cake with my aunt. I made cakes with my aunt often, for some reason, this particular time was special. It would be the first time that I would get to choose everything about the cake – it would be MY first cake. I chose a 2-layer white batter, heart-shaped cake. My cake would have white icing on the inside center holding the layers together. The outside would be covered in the deepest​, ​brightest​, ​yellow icing that you could imagine with white trim and fuchsia pink roses and a “Happy Birthday” message to my Dad!  His favorite color – Yellow! 

As we began to make the yellow icing, you can imagine that we needed lots of yellow food coloring to make the brightest yellow and with just the right balance of red food coloring and white icing to make fuchsia pink – these colors were ones only I could see in my mind. 

My Aunt Bonnie, so patient and kind, would keep asking “is that the color you are thinking of​, ​Mandy?” I would explain it was not quite right yet. My Aunt would laugh and say, “Well then add some more color!” Finally, I had successfully created the exact yellow and fuchsia pink that I had seen in my mind. I put the cake together, spread the yellow icing over the hearts, trimmed the edges in white shells, wrote my message with love to my Dad, and finally made my very first roses! As I spun the nail, my aunt patiently showed me how to add the petals. 

As I remember it, I had so much fun that day. My Aunt Bonnie was a person of the truest patience when it came to the creation of ideas. I can still hear the sound of her sweet voice and laughter encouraging me to express my thoughts with a feeling of joy, which inspired me to take actions that resulted in the creation of my dreams! 

As I look back now, I realize this was one of my first memories of success! This moment was born out of joyful imagination, love, and laughter. There was no challenge, deep hurt, or recovery needed to have this type of success. 

What did I learn from this story of success that could help others? 

I learned that you can create anything you imagine. There is magic in laughter because it makes everything fun and inspires you to keep going! 

Successes that come from ideas, creative thoughts, imagination, or intuition are so important to celebrate. 

Let’s all ask ourselves, What are the joyful successes we have had? What are the important lessons we learned? How can what we learned help others? How can we apply these journeys of joy to what we would love to do today?

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